A new study, commissioned by the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), notes that Americans (9,000 were surveyed) consider performance-enhancing drug use "the most serious problem in sports today."
ESPN's wire copy offers more:
The study released Tuesday found that 75 percent of adults surveyed agreed that athletes' use of performance-enhancing drugs is a violation of ethics in sports. They ranked the use of PEDs as the most serious problem in sports, followed by the focus on money and criminal behavior of well-known athletes.
USADA is funded primarily by a federal grant (74 percent of the agency's $13.3 million budget, per a 2009 press release)—so American tax dollars are paying a steroid watchdog group to commission studies that say Americans say steroids are bad. Again: this study does not say anything new about steroids. Only that Americans think steroids are bad, in fact the worst thing in sports.
But this is bad. Because head injuries (not TV, or whatever these surveyed rotarians would claim) are turning athletes' brains into mush. Football is the new human cockfighting, Craggs wrote in October. And you can buy framed photos of the wreckage. College football players aren't safe, either. Players know this, and so does the NFL. Baseball players, soccer players, hockey players, wrestlers—they're all susceptible.
What is "ethics in sports," if so many games' very nature sends retired athletes screaming toward dementia and early death?
Yet the Boston University Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy made a big deal of a $1M grant from the NFL last April—it had been operating on a budget of around $500K per year. Yes, the leading institute researching the actual most serious problem in sports today had 1/26th the budget of a fraternal organization of piss-testers.
And they're putting that budget to good use here: commissioning propaganda, hoping to perpetuate the budget. They'll need it, especially if the New York Times' Michael S. Schmidt stays stationed in Iraq.
But soon enough, Americans will wake up. And perhaps, despite that fog which comes after so many concussions, we'll yet find those elusive ethics in sports.